The thrum of locusts,
That abrupt silence when you pass under a bridge in a storm,
Wind on your tent.
Coming out of a movie theater into daylight,
The shiver of a light breeze on bare skin,
Losing all sense of time in a book on the porch,
Driving home with the windows down after spending all day laughing with your best friend.
Finding old lists, folded up in strange places. Realizing you accomplished them all, although maybe not in the way you’d expected at the time.
A new word.
A gorgeous tribute.
A fresh start.
I was full of shit.
...Yet he was half of me: It was, I realized, for that reason that he felt he could speak to me the way he did. I was his child: he forgot that I was as real as he. It could be said that one half of our country has told the other it is full of shit…”
- From “The Age of Rudeness” by Rachel Cusk.
Republican/conservative America, you are half of me. I don’t understand you.
How can our family go forwards if it does not truly believe in freedom & justice for all? A divided house cannot stand. Why do you believe what others do with their own private lives somehow stresses yours? It is disrespectful, it cuts blood off at the source. Let us make our people strong & accepting, brave & free instead. If we stand together, we can accomplish so much.
“Truth can be told in an instant, forgiveness can be offered spontaneously, but reconciliation is the work of lifetimes and generations.”
― Krista Tippett, Speaking of Faith
But we are so primitive, really. Truly, we are the heirs of chimpanzees, ripping the faces of neighboring tribes when they come straying too close.
The tide is rising. I think there will be another civil war.
New gods and pitchforks. What an era.
After I finish ABAW, think next the project will be nonfiction- survival & community building/care of after the apocalypse. Pai, Thailand was incredible.
“I pull the curtain behind me and feel a sense of relief… I have stood in such boxlike spaces before, alone with myself, and these moments seem connected to one another in a way I can’t quite specify. It as though life is a board game, and here is the starting point to which I keep finding myself unexpectedly returned. I take off my clothes.
This suddenly seems like an extraordinary thing to do in an unfamiliar room in a street in central London….”
- From “The Age of Rudeness” by Rachel Cusk.
"Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless." - Paul Bowles
Brutal days: full-on busy season, and we’ve just swapped warehouses in the midst of it. 15, 16 hour days. Sand fleas, dropped beams, lost keys. Thank god for music.
If you give up on absolutely everything outside work; if you just work til you drop- eventually you surface into sunlight, you look around, and by god you finally fucking got it done. We’ve almost completely settled into the new place, should be more or less operational again. We have lost scarcely a workday, while tripling our footage!
Tomorrow he leaves for a conference in Africa, I’m manning the monster while he’s away. Which is fine except that ....
I think too much. My trouble, when there’s not a chance at the border of the workday to write, is that inevitably I turn all David-at-the-dentist- “is this forever? Ah, I’m wasting my life!”
Because when I don’t write, I start to panic that I’m giving up, giving in.
But there isn’t any way out of this but through. If I can just turn off my brain for a while and fucking grind. Things will slow down again in August or so. A person can do anything for half a year. And of course, I'll find the time to work on stories. I'll make the time. I always do.
And I shouldn’t worry. It’s a cowardly thing, anyway, worrying.
Now I’m worrying I worry too much.
Andrew slips into bed next to me. “They’ve got another one on the way-”
I can hear the smile in his voice, I curl up against him. “Oh yeah? They must love having a family, that’s great.”
“You think you’re ready for kids, beem beem?” he says, teasing me; he knows I’m not quite ready yet.
If we started a family, unless I was making enough from my books to justify writing at least part time, my little obsession would go out the door. There just wouldn’t be enough time.
Oh, my sweet love: I want to give you a family, I do, but my heart’s blood goes cold at the idea of giving up. I don’t know who I’d be, what I’d be, if I gave up. I don’t think I have it in me to give up.
But at what cost this selfish, stupid obsession? It’s a folly of course. It isn’t even real. He is real. The warehouse is real.
I think about college athletes. The ones who didn’t make pro, but who tasted it just the same. You can’t ever forget that taste.
And yet... even if I can’t be an artist, I can live my life as a work of art. I could do that much.
My Andrew does. He does this like breathing. This boundless generosity in him; this lust for life he has.
But me, at work, somehow I allow myself to feel so beholden to tasks; I hardly remember to breathe. It’s just grind, grind, grind. End of the workday: shower, we make dinner, fall into bed. And that’s it. A whole day, gone. Weeks, months. Y----s. Oh, it’s the scariest thing.
What a brat I am, to want more, when really we are so lucky, so safe, so healthy. Etc, etc.
But this fifteen year old girl in me. When will she die?
A warm, sunny morning: she’s teaching V & I how to do the kettlebell snatch. “You jerk it like this, the kettlebell, right up in front of your chest like you’re painting-yahh!”
“Form will protect you,” she says. I’m thinking about this the rest of the day.
You have no right to the fruits of your actions, only your actions themselves.
This is the form. Meditation, softness. Gratitude. The form protects you.
Still, what a shitty week. Blagh.
I love these things, the details of him: how my husband’s beard presses to a point against his pillow, my husband whose seeming ethnicity seems to shift wherever we travel. He is German-Italian, but manages to look Hispanic, Turkish, Moorish, any number of things. His skin has changed over the years we’ve been together, a beautiful smooth leather, creasing slowly where he smiles, where he frowns.
You know the expressions you habitually make carve tiny marks against your skull? That’s how they do those facial reconstructions, they can tell your favorite expressions from marks in the bone.
I imagine the marks like worm tracks under the skin…
Five years ago, when we were in Ukraine everyone thought I was from there. Odessa. They’d speak to me quickly, conspiratorially; I couldn’t respond, and then they saw my flash of American teeth.
Once a man came out of a crowd and poked at my stomach, yelling at me. The same sentence over and over again. He was angry he couldn’t make me understand. Some transgression I’d made- or maybe he thought I was someone else- I wonder about it still.
Five years ago.
Interesting the theory of Eternalism, that all moments in time- all those days, each one a burrow, a tiny worm’s track- are equally real. Each one, future and past.
We are alive so briefly, think of it, sure, all our days might as well be simultaneous.
I close my eyes to remember, really remember that day in the market. I can almost go back.
Then I open them. 6 am. Coffee and pages before another long, vanishing day at the warehouse.
The bright colors of the market gone five years, that man is perhaps dead, Maria & Yevgeny are divorced and the pomegranates are all eaten.
"The past is never dead. It's not even past." -William Faulkner
This is a wild soul-book